Bible Verses

24 Best bible verses about narcissism

Explore our deep dive into 24 enlightening Bible verses that provide wisdom and guidance about narcissism. Gain spiritual insight into the implications of excessive self-focus from a biblical perspective.

Last Updated:
February 11, 2024
8 Minutes

Table of Contents

The topic of narcissism, while not directly mentioned by name in the Bible, can be explored through scriptures that address related behaviors such as pride, selfishness, arrogance, and lack of love for others. Below, we have selected 24 verses and grouped them into relevant categories, each followed by a brief theological reflection.

Pride and Arrogance

Proverbs 16:18

"Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall."

Reflection: This warns against the dangers of pride leading to one's downfall, emphasizing humility as a safeguard against self-destructive arrogance.

Proverbs 8:13

"To fear the Lord is to hate evil; I hate pride and arrogance, evil behavior and perverse speech."

Reflection: This establishes a direct link between godly wisdom and the rejection of pride, suggesting that true wisdom involves humility and integrity.

Isaiah 2:11

"The eyes of the arrogant will be humbled and human pride brought low; the Lord alone will be exalted in that day."

Reflection: This prophesies the humbling of the proud, reminding believers that ultimate glory belongs to God, not humans.

James 4:6

"But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says: 'God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.'"

Reflection: It emphasizes God's grace towards the humble and His opposition to the proud, encouraging believers to seek humility.

1 Peter 5:5

"Likewise, you who are younger, be subject to the elders. Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for 'God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.'"

Reflection: This calls for mutual humility among believers, highlighting the value of submissiveness and respect within the Christian community.

Proverbs 29:23

"One's pride will bring him low, but he who is lowly in spirit will obtain honor."

Reflection: This contrasts the outcomes of pride and humility, suggesting that true honor is found in humility.

Selfishness and Lack of Love

1 Corinthians 13:4-5

"Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs."

Reflection: This classic passage on love directly counters narcissistic traits, promoting a selfless, patient, and forgiving attitude.

Philippians 2:3-4

"Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others."

Reflection: This encourages believers to prioritize others' needs and interests, advocating for a community built on humility and selflessness.

James 3:14-16

"But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. Such 'wisdom' does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice."

Reflection: It warns against the destructive nature of envy and selfishness, contrasting them with the peace and order brought by heavenly wisdom.

2 Timothy 3:2-4

"People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good."

Reflection: This description of people in the end times serves as a warning against the consequences of selfishness and lack of love.

Ephesians 5:1-2

"Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God."

Reflection: This calls believers to emulate the selfless love of Christ, prioritizing the well-being of others as an act of worship.

1 John 3:17-18

"But if anyone has the world's goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God's love abide in him? Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth."

Reflection: This challenges believers to demonstrate love through actions, particularly in generosity and care for those in need.

True Wisdom and Godly Character

Proverbs 11:2

"When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom."

Reflection: This links humility with wisdom, suggesting that true insight and understanding are rooted in a humble disposition.

James 3:17

"But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere."

Reflection: It outlines the characteristics of godly wisdom, which contrasts sharply with narcissistic tendencies by emphasizing peace, mercy, and sincerity.

Galatians 5:22-23

"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Against such things there is no law."

Reflection: This describes the attributes that should be evident in a believer's life, offering a stark contrast to narcissistic behavior.

Consequences of Sinful Behavior

Romans 1:28-31

"Furthermore, just as they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, so God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what ought not to be done. They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; they have no understanding, no fidelity, no love, no mercy."

Reflection: This passage highlights the breadth of sinful behavior, including traits associated with narcissism, as a result of rejecting God.

Proverbs 18:12

"Before a downfall the heart is haughty, but humility comes before honor."

Reflection: It reinforces the idea that pride precedes a fall, advocating for humility as the path to true honor and dignity.

Proverbs 26:12

"Do you see a person wise in their own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for them."

Reflection: This cautions against the folly of self-perceived wisdom, suggesting that an overinflated sense of one's own insight is a greater error than simple foolishness.

Encouragement to Change

2 Corinthians 5:17

"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come."

Reflection: This offers hope for transformation, indicating that a life in Christ enables a fundamental renewal of character.

Ephesians 4:22-24

"You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the spirit of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness."

Reflection: It encourages believers to actively reject their old, sinful behaviors and adopt a new, godly character.

Romans 12:2

"Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will."

Reflection: This verse urges a radical shift from worldly patterns to a life shaped by God's will, highlighting the role of the mind in spiritual transformation.

Colossians 3:9-10

"Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator."

Reflection: This emphasizes the importance of truth and integrity in the Christian life, as part of the broader transformation into Christlikeness.

Galatians 6:3-4

"If anyone thinks they are something when they are not, they deceive themselves. Each one should test their own actions. Then they can take pride in themselves alone, without comparing themselves to someone else."

Reflection: It warns against self-deception and the dangers of comparison, advocating for a sober and honest assessment of one’s actions.

Philippians 2:5-8

"In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death—even death on a cross!"

Reflection: This presents the ultimate model of humility and selflessness in Jesus Christ, challenging believers to emulate His attitude in all relationships.

These verses, when reflected upon, provide a comprehensive biblical perspective on the issues related to narcissism, offering both warnings against such attitudes and encouragement for transformation through Christ.

Frequently asked questions

Question 1: What does the Bible say about narcissism?

Answer: While the term "narcissism" is not specifically mentioned in the scriptures, the Bible shares numerous verses that clearly address the qualities associated with this trait such as arrogance, selfishness, and lack of empathy. It guides us to uphold values like humility (Proverbs 11:2), selflessness (Philippians 2:3-4), and empathy (Romans 12:15). 

Question 2: Can pride be seen as a form of narcissism in the scriptures?

Answer: Yes, indeed. Pride is frequently addressed in the Bible and considered a sin. It’s regarded as placing oneself at the center, rather than God or others (Proverbs 16:5, James 4:6). As such, it can be seen as a form of narcissism.

Question 3: How should we respond to narcissistic individuals based on biblical teachings?

Answer: The Bible encourages us to respond with love, patience, and prayers. We are instructed to remain kind, even when dealing with difficult individuals (Romans 12:20), and to pray for them (Matthew 5:44). Nonetheless, the Bible also highlights the importance of setting boundaries for our own wellbeing (Proverbs 22:24).

Question 4: What guidance does the Bible provide for those who are dealing with narcissistic abuse?

Answer: The Bible offers comforting words, reminding us that God sees our tears, hears our cries, and understands our pain. He promises to provide strength and solace in times of distress (Psalm 34:18). It also encourages seeking wise counsel (Proverbs 19:20), which in modern context can be professional help.

Question 5: Can a narcissist find redemption in the light of the Gospel?

Answer: The Gospel message is one of hope and transformation for all. With genuine repentance and the transformative power of God's grace, everyone, including a narcissist, can experience spiritual growth and healing. It may require professional intervention and should be accompanied by accountability and tangible changes in behavior (Ezekiel 36:26).

Question 6: Does the Bible provide any examples of individuals who displayed narcissistic tendencies but were transformed?

Answer: Saul of Tarsus is a powerful example. Before his encounter with Christ, he was prideful and persecuted Christians. However, after truly experiencing God's grace, he transformed into Paul the Apostle, a humble servant of God who played a critical role in spreading the Gospel (Acts 9). This displays the transformative power of God's love and grace.

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